Digital Marketing – Hot at Digital Dealer 10

I attended Digital Dealer 10 last week for the first time since Digital Dealer 6 in spring 2009. Wow – what a difference a couple of years can make. The entire conference was focused heavily around Digital Marketing. Sessions were heavy around search engine optimization, paid search marketing, social marketing, location marketing, and mobile marketing. This is quite a refreshing shift from the 2009 show, which focused solely on website conversion. Don’t get me wrong, this will always be a critical subject, but we have come so far and the Web world is no longer just a website.

We need to look beyond this and focus on:

  • How do we get consumers to the website in order to take advantage of high converting websites?
    Focusing on paid search marketing, search engine optimization and social marketing, dealers can drive additional, higher quality traffic to their website. It goes without saying that these services all act as traffic generators. However, these services can also be great for driving the dealer’s brand awareness.
  • How can we make sure that we are first in mind on location searches?
    Dealers need to work with local sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Places, and other location websites to both make sure their presence is there and to confirm their information is accurate. This will ensure that they are found in location based searches. Offering a special through these sites is also a great practice to help drive consumer interest.
  • What other consumer shopping channels can we capture?
    Mobile marketing is a hot newer marketing channel available to dealers. If you don’t have a mobile website (at a minimum), you need to get one. However, dealers need to go beyond that. Why not capture the lot traffic from after-hour customers by sending specific vehicle information to their phone? Go another step further and market to their phone by sending specials and coupons.

It’s great to see the automotive industry catching up to what’s hot and moving beyond the website to capture additional and higher quality traffic to their dealerships!